Civil Unrest, Protests, and Children

SYLVIA McCRORY     JUNE 2020

We live in a world of civil unrest, protests. Much of this is confusing to adults, but even more so to children. Children see the marchers and some may read the signs. But it is important that parents are available to explain what God’s word has to say about how we are to treat our fellow human beings. There is no political agenda in the Bible. Do not make it one. God’s message goes much deeper. As Christians we are instructed to share the message of salvation. We are not instructed to promote hate or bitterness.

  1. Children are not born with hatred in their hearts  

This is taught. It is true that there are cultural differences in the way children are raised. People have a fear of the things they do not understand. But, because one does not understand another person’s culture, one does not have the right to dislike them. It becomes our duty to learn about that culture.  It is our duty as parents to accept differences and love them, just as Christ first loved us. We must understand, we do not all have the same perspective on things, because we do not share the same experiences. We were not raised in the same household; therefore, we have a different perception of issues. 

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If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.                                      I John 4:20-21 (NIV)

It is time to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes.  Instead of focusing on ourselves and what we want, we must focus on others and what they need. More importantly focus on God, focus on the cross  , focus on the empty tomb, focus on heaven. 

  1. Love your neighbor.

Concentrate on how we are alike.  We were all created by the same God who sent His only Son to die for our sins. We are all sinners. It is by the wonderous grace of God that we have been Saved through Jesus.  Our salvation is nothing we can boast about because we did not earn it. Our salvation is a gift from God. Which means we need to be humble and see others as our neighbors. 

Do we know who our neighbor is?

  1. Pray 

We are instructed to pray. Pray for our children that we will be able to say the words God would have us say to explain the problems in the world today. Pray for ourselves that God will use us to be the example of His love and grace. Pray for others that God will see their need and use us as an instrument to help fill that need. 

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.                             Matthew 5:43-45 (NIV)

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  1. Live as an example

We need to ask ourselves if we are showing the love of God by the way we live.  Our children are always, watching and listening to the things we do and say.  Are our messages filled with love for others? 

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself, you are doing right.                            James 1:8    (NIV)

  1. Teach kindness through our deeds

Christians should be known by their love and concern for others. Sometimes we think negative actions are the best way to get attention therefore causing things to change. What if we cause change by being an example of doing good? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone would start their day deciding to make something brighter or better for someone else today? 

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.             Colossians 3:17 (NIV)

If there is someone reading this who feels I am being too naive, I would have to ask that person if they have tried the things above.  Greatness does not come from the number of people we have harmed, but from the people we have helped along the way. The acts of kindness can mushroom to more than we could imagine if we will allow God to take the lead and count on Him. 

 

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